RATES AT RECORD LOWS: The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage touched its record low this week, and the rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage hit a new record.
DECLINES FOLLOW FED ACTION: The declines followed the Federal Reserve announcement last week that it will buy mortgage bonds to try to push loan rates lower and stimulate the housing market.
THE NUMBERS: The rate on the 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.49 percent. That matched the lowest rate since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. The rate on the 15-year mortgage plunged to 2.77 percent, a new record.